During the week of 17 July, representatives from the CTAO gGmbH and its Project Office visited the Canary Islands (Tenerife and La Palma) to meet with its hosting partner, the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC), and local authorities to establish and build relationships, and to discuss the strategy and technical plans for CTA’s northern hemisphere array on La Palma.
CTA Representatives Meet with Local Officials in La Palma to Discuss Plans for Northern Hemisphere Array
After meetings in Tenerife with the IAC and the Large-Sized Telescope (LST) and Medium-Sized Telescope (MST) teams earlier in the week to discuss the overall strategy for site infrastructure and construction, the CTAO team (Managing Director Ulrich Straumann, Infrastructure Coordinator David Bristow, Power and Data Network Planner Carla Crovari and CAD technologist Stephen Brown) visited the site of the LST prototype on La Palma. During their visit, the LST prototype’s center pin to support the superstructure of the LST was placed at the center of the foundation (pictured to the left), signifying the beginning of the next phase of construction. (Learn more about the La Palma site and watch the construction of the LST on a live webcam here).
The CTAO, IAC, LST and MST representatives spent the remainder of the week meeting with the local authorities on La Palma with the aim to establish a working relationship with the groups, to gather feedback on current plans, to better understand the local construction planning processes and permit laws, and to identify opportunities to engage the community in the social, economic and scientific benefits CTA will provide. On Wednesday, 19 July, the teams held working meetings with the Minister of Planning for the Cabildo de la Palma, Gonzalo Pascual and technical staff (pictured below), to introduce the project and discuss some of the technical aspects of the infrastructure planning and construction for the array. On Thursday, 20 July, a similar meeting was held with representatives of the Villa de Garafia, including the Deputy Mayor Yeray Rodriguez, Council of Culture Glemis Rodriguez and Municipal Technician Miguel Quesada.
Photo credit: Raúl Galera/Cabildo de La Palma
Both meetings with the local officials helped to establishing a long-term working relationship between the groups. The CTAO, IAC and CTA telescope teams will continue to foster these relationships for ongoing collaboration to help support CTA and the local communities throughout the construction and life of the array.